Strong-field methods in solids enable new strategies for ultrafast nonlinear spectroscopy and provide all-optical insights into the electronic properties of condensed matter in reciprocal and real space. Additionally, solid-state media offers unprecedented possibilities to control high-harmonic generation using modified targets or tailored excitation fields. Here we merge these important points and demonstrate circularly-polarized high-harmonic generation with polarization-matched excitation fields for spectroscopy of chiral electronic properties at surfaces. The sensitivity of our approach is demonstrated for structural helicity and termination-mediated ferromagnetic order at the surface of silicon-dioxide and magnesium oxide, respectively. Circularly polarized radiation emanating from a solid sample now allows to add basic symmetry properties as chirality to the arsenal of strong-field spectroscopy in solids. Together with its inherent temporal (femtosecond) resolution and non-resonant broadband spectrum, the polarization control of high harmonics from condensed matter can illuminate ultrafast and strong field dynamics of surfaces, buried layers or thin films.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Physics and Astronomy(all)